Monday, March 24, 2008

Since I posted last things havn't really been going great. When I got to $4k of a roll I took out my original investment to Carlos of $1.5k as I wanted to just be playing with the profits that I have made from online poker. This just makes me feel more secure when I am playing as I now know that the money I am playing with wasn't my hard earned cash to start with.

So this then left me with $2.5k or 25 BIs for 100nl. I got of to a terrible start at 100nl for the month, In my first 1600 hands of the month I managed to drop $1100 which was a bit soul destroying. I then moved back down to 50nl for a while and made a bit back, I felt that I was crushing this game at the time as in my first 2 sessions I made 10BIs, but then I started playing badly again and was back to were I started again.

At this stage I then started watching some cardrunners videos and this was very worthwhile to watch. These players are just a different class and its very good to watch their style of play and try to learn from it. Their thought process in hands is very insight-full and this is something that I need to improve on when I am playing. I took a few days of from playing poker so I could try and come back with a clear head and stll have my bankroll in tact.

When I came back I stupidly took a shot at shortstacking 600nl and 1000nl. It was very profitable but pure luck as well, I won all my races and sucked out big time one guy when I flopped a set and check the flop, he caught up with a straight on the turn where all the money went in but I filled up on the river to give me a $600 pot. The plan is the next time I play 600nl I will be rolled for it but this is a pipedream at the minute.

I also played a few tournamnents this month, I cashed for more than a $100 in the 35k guaranteed on ipoker. I made a stupid call when I was 11th in chips with 72 left and crippled my stack. I went out in 55th I think which isn't to bad out of a 1400 player game. I also came 4th in a 100 man $10 rebuy game for $225. My bonus also cleared this month which gave me a boost of $300 and at present my bankroll stands at $3020 so with rakeback to come in I hope to be at around the 4k mark for the start of April.

I'll post up my 100nl graph and stats for the period so far. Its very gloom looking but I am starting to recover at least.
So thats the story so far this month. The plan at the minute is to start taking shots at 200nl in April and be properly rolled for it by the end of April which I want somewhere over $5k for it, preferably $6k, but we will see how it goes. I'll try stick in an update at the start of April and see how things stand when I get my rakeback in the account.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A fresh start in 2008

At the start of January I opened up a new account with Carlos Poker with a good cashback deal. I think this is crucial to any poker player these days as you really need that extra bit of money to boost your bankroll and it can turn a losing month into a bad one.

I said to myself that I was going to start afresh in 2008 and just forget about what ever money I had won or lost up to that, to be perfectly honest I'm not sure if I have been in profit since I started playing as I didn't keep any accurate records, I actually think I am up about €1500 - €2000 but this could be wrong as its easy for anyone to forget the money they lost and just think about the times they've won. So with that in mind I am taking note of whatever money I have deposited into different accounts or played with in the casino. So to date my spending is as follow:

Carlos €416.04 / $600 - I went on to lose this and deposited another:
Carlos €681.58 / $1000
VC poker €50 - wanted to play in an Irish Open Freeroll
Poker Stars €15 - played the Sunday 100k once, other time I forgot to play it and lost the $11!!
Sporting Emporium €55 - played the €75 scalps game one night
Jackpot €150 - a drunken night at the end of January

Holdem Manager €50 / $80 - poker tracking software.

So to date I have spent about €1420 on poker and my online BR currently stands at $3617 (rakeback of around $250 is still to be added to this) which is the equivalent to €2400, so to date I am up €1000. So where this money has come from is described over the next couple of paragraphs.

The screenshot below is from sharkscope where I made a few $ playing $20 30 man tournaments and some other 10 man sit and goes, also in there is a $110 6 man SNG which I played while chasing loses one day. Something I have tried to cut out of my game.

I also played a good few hands at 50nl and at the end of it I was actually down money which was very annoying. I thought I would be able to beat this level quite comfortably but due to tilting problems I had a few sessions where I dropped a lot of money, around $500 3 times, this was very upsetting at the time and every time I made the money back I done the stupid thing and I would tilt it all back again. You can see some really quick drops in the graph, basically where I played bad and then tilted ever more off. But it does make for a funny looking graph!!
So if you examine the graph you will notice that I make money in a completely different way to most poker players. I make my money from pots that don't go to showdown red line, basically I play my hands very aggressively and they don't get show down, in showdown pots I am really bad because people call my bluffs so the showdown winnings are bad blue line. My actual winnings green line is the difference in the two and as a result of bluffing to many calling stations which is poor on my part, I lost money playing 50nl, with the rake back added in I showed a small profit over 25k hands which is very disappointing. My stats from poker tracker at 50nl are shown below. I have split them into 2 as basically on the 23rd of January I had a coaching session where the only thing that we discussed was my PF game, which as you can see I did improve a hell of a lot which can be seen from my winnings and stats:
Some of the main differences in my game from the coaching was my PF raise, instead of calling and limping more I now raise a lot more. I am still playing the same % of hands but playing them a lot more aggressively, you can see that my stealing % is also a lot higher which means I am picking up a lot more pots from the button and the blinds, this is very important in improving your win rate. Basically I have improved my game quite substantially in my opinion for this level.

Once I had $2000 in my poker account I started taking shots at 100nl, to date these have gone very well over a small sample size of hands. I am now comfortably bankrolled for 100nl and I am feeling pretty good with my game. I am going to finish this post of with the same graphs that I have used above.
So as you can see I ran really hot over the first 3.5k hands or so, since then I've had 2 $450+ downswings but I recovered from both of them so I am happy enough. One of the main differences is that I am up money in showdown pots which is where I want to be. Its also nice to be still making money in non-showdown pots, with the 2 of these combined I think I have the basis of a good game. My stats over this period are below:
1 thing I want to work on now is improving my PF raise and getting my W$WSD higher as I think these are important to my game. My stats aren't as good as they way they were at the end of my 50nl so I'm going to take a few days of playing poker now and try and work on this. I'm also going to sign up to cardrunners and watch some of their videos as I have been hearing nothing but good reviews about these from fellow 100nl players. So thats it for now, I will try and keep this updated each week from now on. Next week probably won't have much of an update as I don't plan on playing many hands this week, more of s review week and study week.

My poker story so far

The first time I remember playing poker for money was back in my first year in college when a few of my college mates emptied out their money boxes and we started playing some 5 card draw for 1c and 2c. To be really honest I don't remember if I won or lost, but the next time I played poker wasn't for another couple of years.

Then when I left my work experience in Xilinx my colleagues at the time gave me a poker set for my leaving present. I brought it home that evening to my house and the next evening we started playing poker fairly regularly. We played a few times a week, usually 5 of us for €2 a game.

Then it started, I had a betting account with Boylesports and put some money into a poker account and started playing very low stakes cash games and sit and goes. I had no bankroll what so ever, I usually put in €5 and cashed out when I got to €100. I was doing well at this and was able to give myself spending money while in college. I think this was when I realized that I could make a few extra euros in the week from what was an easy way of earning a few bob.

Since then I have played hundreds of thousands of cash hands and quite a few tournament both online and live. I rarely ever play live, usually when I have been out for the night and have had a few pints so this is something I try not to do anymore as it usually ends up costing me money. To date my high points in poker have been splitting a €100 buy-in last Xmas 4 ways for €650 each, doing really well out of the GJP freeroll with 2 1st places a 2nd and a 3rd, collecting me a total of around $1200.

Perhaps one of my biggest highlights was 4 days in Las Vegas were I spun $20 at a 2-4 limit table up to $700 over 4 days, where I got involved in my biggest pot to that date. I had sat in at a 1-2NL table with $60 and played really really tight, basically I had all my gambling money on the table. After a while I had gotten up to about $250 and called a $7 straddle in the pot with QhJh. There was 4 other players in the pot and the flop came out 89T rainbow flop. I checked as a beginner would usually do with the nuts, the player after me goes all in for about 50, another player calls and I re raise all in. The player that flat called looked at me for ages and started talking to me saying I know you flopped the straight but I call anyway. I heart was racing at this stage. 80% of me wanted him to call, the other was kind of wanting him to fold because I didn't want to get outdrawn and go home a tell a bad beat story. Anyways he had a set of 9s, the other player had a set of 8s. I was never as nervous in my whole life, even though I was a big favorite to win the hand it felt at the time like I had to miss every card in the deck. Anyway the turn and river changed nothing and I scooped my biggest pot to date.

Hopefully I will be able to return to Vegas later this year around the time of the WSOP event, I will try a few satellites on Poker Stars for the main event. I would love to play it but at the same time I know it wouldn't be in my favour to play it but if I get in for cheap well I ain't going to say no.

A getting started post

I've tried a few times already to start a blog but it has just never happened for no good reason. This time I am just going to put up a post to get it started and then go from there. I'm going to try and update it every week about my poker progress from 100nl up.